Remember when you first saw Aikido? I do. The way the people in the black skirts moved seemed effortless. Someone would come running in, throw a strike, and sail out into a roll that brought them back up to their feet. It was magical, like watching birds in flight.

Then I decided to start training. Everything was hard, clunky, and hesitant. Taiso, the seemingly simple exercises that class started with, were confounding. Rolling hurt. I would watch a technique demonstrated, and then when it was time to practice, I might well have been trying to rub my belly and pat my head while I hopped on a pojo stick.

Pasour Shihan initiated a discussion last night about what we do, what it takes, what it costs, and in reply, Barrett Sensei said something that I want to repeat here,
"It takes a lot of effort to make it look effortless."

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